A private developer needed to evaluate the suitability of properties throughout Southern California for urban air mobility (UAM) vertiports. Mead & Hunt developed a site analysis framework to help evaluate a high volume of sites using a phased approach. The first phase analyses criteria such as surrounding land use, obstructions to flight paths, multimodal transit access, and proximity to residential and employment centers. Sites that pass the initial screening are given an in-person inspection that looks at the structural integrity of the building, availability of electricity supply, and challenges with retrofitting the building for UAM operations.
Other key considerations include accessibility to comply with the American’s with Disabilities Act and local building codes, the level of modification needed to the fire suppression system to cope with electrical fires, and how to accommodate UAM passengers in parts of buildings not intended for such high concentrations of people. The second phase generates cost estimates for recommended retrofits and improvements, which is used to help decide which sites to move forward.
This project showcases the depth of Mead & Hunt’s skillsets, with planners, engineers, and architects working together to help provide guidance to our clients in this rapidly evolving industry.